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March 2/15

The Miraculous "Reigning" Icon of the Mother of God was discovered on the day of the abdication of Emperor-Martyr Nicholas II from the throne, 2/15 March 1917. The Russian People saw it as evidence that supreme authority over Russia, and the responsibility for assisting Russia, had been transferred to the Queen of Heaven.

On two separate occasions, the Most-holy Theotokos appeared to the peasant woman Eudokia Adrianovna in a dream. On February 13, 1917, Eudokia heard the Theotokos say the following words, "In the village of Kolomenskoye, there is a large black icon. It has to be taken – let people pray [before it]." On February 26, she had a vision of a white church, within which there sat enthroned a majestic Woman. The peasant woman decided to seek out the church she had seen in her dream. On March 2, in the village of Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, she recognized the Church of the Ascension as the very one she had seen in her dream. After an conducting an exhaustive search, she and the parish rector found a large, dark icon of the Mother of God in the church basement; it was the very Icon that had been revealed to Eudokia [in her vision].

People immediately began to revere the Icon as miraculous. Many copies of the Icon were made, and It was invited to be brought for prayer services to all of the surrounding villages, and to many monasteries, churches, and factories and manufacturing plants all over Moscow. St. Tikhon, Most-holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, blessed the writing of a service and akathist to the Reigning Icon, and participated in the composition of the service.

The Icon’s title is consistent with the image depicted. The Theotokos is depicted as both a Heavenly Queen and an earthly one. Attired in a red vestment (resembling the mantiya worn by the Emperor) and a green tunic, she is seated on a throne. In her extended right hand, she holds a scepter, and her left hand rests upon an orb. On her head is a regal crown surrounded by a gold halo. On the Sovereign Lady’s knees sits the Divine Infant, making [a sign of] blessing, and with his left hand, pointing to the orb.

It has been conjectured that the Reigning Icon, which was painted in the 18th Century, had previously been in the Ascension Convent in the Moscow Kremlin, and was removed to Kolomenskoye during Napoleon’s invasion in 1812.

After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Icon and other holy things from the shuttered Ascension Church were warehoused in various storage facilities belonging to the State Historical Museum.

Significantly, the return of the Miraculous Icon coincided with the liberation of Russia from the atheist yoke. In the late 1980s, thanks to efforts made by Metropolitan Pitirim (Nechaev) of Volokolamsk and Yuriev and by Archimandrite Innokenty (Prosvirnin), and at the personal direction of Museum Director K. G. Levykin, the Icon was secretly transferred to the offices of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Publications Division, where it remained for several years in the Altar of the house church dedicated to Venerable St. Joseph of Volotsk.

On July 27, 1990, with the blessing of the Most-holy Alexei, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, clergy and Orthodox Muscovites took the Icon in solemn procession to Kolomenskoye, to the functioning Kazan Church. The Icon was installed near the right kliros. Ever since, on Sundays the akathist composed with the participation of Holy Hierarch St. Tikhon is chanted there.

Source : The Miraculous "Reigning" Icon : Orthodox Icons of the Theotokos